CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur- One communist NPA terrorist was killed last January 20 while Joint elements of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) and PNP conducting hot pursuit operations following the murder of a Barangay Councilor and a Tanod in Barangay Cabas-an in Aroroy town yesterday.
The clashed occurred in the towns of Mandaon and Baleno in Masbate.
Operating troops also captured from the encounter sites – two M16 rifles, anti-personnel mines, medical equipment and supplies, terroristic propaganda materials and personal belongings from the encounter sites.
Two days previous, two Barangay officials were killed by communist NPA terrorists who posed as elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and harassed a community of “alsa masa” in Barangay Cabas-an, Aroroy town in Masbate last January 19.
According to the report, CPP-NPAs forced their way into the house of Punong Barangay Aniano Capinig, dragged the victim including one barangay Councilor and two Tanod to a secluded area and held them captive.
Though Capinig and one Tanod managed to escape, Kagawad Vitorino De Leon Bravo III and Brgy. Tanod Arnel Retanan were killed.
A joint manhunt operation of PNP and military against the CNTs was immediately launched.
As of now, Barangay Cabas-an is being thoroughly monitored and secured.
Alsa-masa community is a place where residents, most of them former rebels, who have not only denounced the communist terrorists as persona-non-grata but provides total rejection of communist insurgency.
It can be recalled that last year more than a hundred rebels and supporters surrendered and withdrew their membership from the CTG in Masbate. They are now unarmed civilians who have returned to the fold of law.
Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB thanked the local populace for helping the troops locate the enemies by sending reports about the CTG’s presence in their area.
Enraged about the murder of their barangay officials, residents in Masbate are eager to help the government in arresting the perpetrators and hold them accountable for their gruesome crime.
Meanwhile, Major General Henry A Robinson Jr PA, Commander of Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) is confident that with the effective interoperability of the Army, police and other law enforcement agencies, coupled with the public’s eagerness to help the pursuing troops in the area, other CNTs responsible for the said terroristic attack will be put behind bars if not killed in armed encounters if they will not surrender peacefully.
MajGen Robinson added in the vernacular – “Muli kaming nagpapasalamat sa mga Masbateño na patuloy na sumusuporta at tumutulong sa gobyerno upang mapanagot ang mga komunistang teroristang ito. Let us not allow the CTG to continue murdering innocent and defenseless people.
“There is no way they can ever escape from the expiration of their lost cause. To all the people who are still supporting and condoning the evil deeds of these murderers and terrorists, you are only contributing to their terrorism.”